On this first day of the new year we thought it would be good to join local history books by participating in the annual Penguin Plunge at Deep Cove.
To set the scene: Let me remind southern hemisphere readers it is Winter here. The last few days have been sunny, but averaging about -1 degrees celcius. Today you could have been excused for thinking there was snow on the ground.
This photo is not particularly pertiment to the story except that I wanted to point out how much I like secret tunnels leading towards light like this. We did walk through here this morning.
The fountain was frozen.
Everything was covered in a thin layer of ice.
There was even ice on the top of the water we swam in. One of Seth's crazy (I've got a mix of admiration and something else I can't find the word for...) 15 year old female friends not only plunged but swam out to a nearby plontoon. She came back with bleeding hands having had to crack through sheets of ice in order to reach her destination. Thank goodness for a large communal bonfire.
A band to play some merry jigs. There was a great old fashioned village feel to it all.
A picturesque setting.
At 1.30 there was a costume parade: here are 2 penguins, baby penguin can't be seen.
A green dinosaur man...
One of a pair of guys dressed up as presents. Yes he has those flouncy things on his nipples. And yes they wore this in the water.
How cute is the little kid in the fluffy costume?
A photographer doing his thing.
Lining up by the water at 2. It was packed.
After a count down people galloped into the water enthusiastically, and did not last long before racing out again with a sense of urgency into a crowd of yet-to-plunge participants and dry onlookers. People pushing in all directions. Lips turning purple. Steam rising from a pack of wiggling sardines. Mayhem.
The thing that hurt the most were my toes. I had thongs (of the footwear kind, I think they might be called flip-flops here) but my toes felt like stiff, frozen, fish fingers and I couldn't bend them to get my shoes on. Some dry clothes and we warmed up quickly. Seth was seriously shivering and I was worried he might have hypothermia. He was one of the first in the water and I think he had trouble getting back out through semi-hysteric crowds. I kept thinking about Bear Grylls stripping off (seems to happen every episode) after one of his routine swims in much too cold water but there were a few too many people around to convince Seth that was a good idea. Thankfully, we all made it back with 5 toes on each foot. Thankyou Deep Cove people for a great adventure and a badge to prove it.